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Back to the Beginning

January 18, 2018

Does our DNA have some sort of spiritual memory? From the time I was a little girl, my natural approach to spirituality seems to align with Celtic Christianity. I didn’t know that terminology then. It was just my natural way. My ancestors were from County Cork in Ireland, so I wonder sometimes if an Ancient way of being is part of my very cells and soul.

I am not an expert, but from what I have read about Celtic spirituality God is understood as very close. The veil separating heaven and earth is very thin. The Divine can be experienced in the midst of every day activities, not only in church. Jesus is generally seen as someone who walks along side of you and is approachable, not clothed with the earthly trappings of kings. This does not reflect a lack of respect, but a sense of intimacy. Nature is radiant through and through with the Divine. Some say that the Celtic Cross reflects this idea with the circle on it representing creation, intersecting all the earth and our experience on this planet. 

One of the symbols of Celtic Christianity is the Celtic knot. The interlacing ribbons and spirals have no identifiable beginning or end. They suggest a state of perpetual motion. They could represent the intertwining of God and people, matter and Spirit, masculine and feminine, God with creation or God’s ongoing creative action. Within Celtic Christianity there is a continuous sense of the presence of God. The Celtic Knot interweaves the old and the new, the sacred and the secular, nature and grace, this world and the next. There is a sense of journey and flow that may remind us that God’s creation is living and ongoing. It brings us back to where we begin; to God who is the beginning and end of our journey.

The Celtic world gave much greater scope to the role of women. Both masculine and feminine imagery were incorporated into religious life and the Church’s life and organization. God’s image was seen to be found in every person, male and female. On a trip to the Abbey in Iona Scotland, the Goddess Bridget was mentioned during the service, so it seems that remnants of the old ways linger. 

As I look back upon my life I remember that this Celtic way did not jive with the things I was taught in Sunday school. Like the Celtic knot, I have come back to my beginning. I have changed over the years, but these ways still resonate with me. Now I have the maturity and enough wisdom to embrace them as my authentic way. 

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